Petitions Calls for Better Conditions for Outdoor Pets

by Denise Carey-Costa

New York State laws requiring adequate shelter and what conditions animals can be left outdoors in are currently very vague. Unfortunately, this leaves too many loopholes for offenders and strips the local animal control agencies the authority to act on complaints and protect suffering and neglected animals.

Longtime animal advocate Stacey Cobb started a petition to have more specifics written into the laws so there is no room for questioning. She is also trying to incorporate specific temperatures into the law that dictate when a pet must be brought indoors. She, like much of the population, feel that no pet should live outdoors, but if they are forced to, and in many cities and counties they are; then at least give them a comfortable and secure shelter.

Stacey’s petition requests that changes be made to the current Article 26B under the New York State Agriculture and Market Law- relating to Cruelty to Animals. The petition which to date has 505,360 signatures will be sent to New York State Senate/Assembly Senator Marty Golden, Assembly members Carl Heastie, Nicole Malliotakis, Mathew Titone and James Tedisco. Encouraging enough, 70,000 of the 500,000+ signatures are from New York residents.

The goal of Stacey’s petition is for New York State to create an example for the rest of the nation to follow; where no dog or cat is left outdoors for an extended amount of time. Specific temperatures would be 35 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, or 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and to include exigent circumstances such as a wind chill warning, a heat advisory, a blizzard or a hurricane. The petition also includes specific stipulations for pet owners who insist on having their companion animals live outdoors.

The stipulations include all shelters must be well constructed, have a slanted roof, enclosed sides, a doorway and a solid leveled floor at least two inches from the ground. The shelter should have no cracks or openings other than the entrance. Shelter must be rainproof and windproof with an adequate amount of straw bedding. Pets must have access to food and fresh water.

Stacey’s crusade for animals in New York State does not stop at petitioning for better protection of outdoor pets but extends to the many animals dying daily at New York City’s Animal Care and Control Center. Each night the NYC ACC gives many animals, just 18 hours to be reserved before being euthanized. This prompted Stacey to start her Facebook page  which promotes the shelter animals in need of homes.  Each animal facing euthanasia is posted daily on the Facebook page.

Stacey also runs a licensed wildlife rehabilitation for orphaned wildlife out of  her home. Her dream in the future is to have enough land to have her own sanctuary for shelter pets and wildlife. It pains her to turn animals away, due to lack of adequate caging.

You can follow Stacey’s wildlife rescue here.  If you would like to help Stacey Cobb in her efforts to save animals, you can sign her petition, donate to her wildlife rescue via Paypal,   or shop on her Amazon Wishlist

She has designed t-shirts to promote fostering/adopting and help fund her cause and expand it.

You can also order a custom designed t-shirt via these links: or

All funds raised will go toward building/purchasing extra caging, enclosures and other supplies to support rehabilitating wildlife from her home.

Stacey is committed to her mission and plans to follow all of this through until the laws change to protect animals in New York State and across the nation.

*This story first appeared in Pet Rescue Report and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

About the Author

Denise Carey-Costa is a screenwriter, journalist, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her most recent work includes the role of screenwriter and associate producer for the Hallmark channel’s upcoming feature film Keeping Christmas (Christmas 2017). She was awarded the Best Producer Award from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards for her latest documentary Growing up with Hollywood (January 2016). Her first documentary film Tony’s TaleTragedy in Arizona (August 2014) was the winner of eight national film festival awards including several Audience Choice Awards. She has also written numerous children’s books promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures. Among her children’s books are: A Tale of Three TailsEdwin’s FlightLucky, and Angelina’s Angel, and her non-fiction piece, Tony’s Tale Tragedy in Arizona.  She lives in Orlando, Florida, where she works with local rescue shelters.


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